Monday, April 15, 2024

Samtar casts the Shadow of the King’s Charade

Samtar is an experimental solo artist from Wisconsin and has his fifth album (the follow-up to the grandly titled, The Curse Of The Infinite Luminosity) out now. When I reviewed The Curse of… back in 2021, I was wary of the experimental tag but after repeated listens, I said: “not too experimental or revolutionary then… just some quality songs from an obviously capable musician. It’s not heavy or rock per se, but it is worth giving it a listen for the sounds Samtar weaves throughout his compositions.”

Now he has a new release, Shadow Of The King’s Charade, and I looked forward to hearing how he had developed his sound. Well the first track, ‘The Shadow From My Dreams’ is a laid-back, prog-ish rock song with many layers to unpeel and a damn good (short) guitar solo to top it off. ‘Cool To Me’ is a sub three-minute Heepy sort of prog with more great guitar. To keep you guessing, ‘Echoes From Across The Sea’ moves into an articulate blend of pop soft rock, with hints of reggae and a distinct sense of fun, even if just for the plinking piano and oompah-like sections! Then ‘The Fool’ sounds like Sam Sham but with added (and very clever) layers of gentle rock and then a heavy guitar solo, suitably pedalled. ‘Wild Boys’ is another fun imbued song that has roots in the 50s but brought right up to date with musically and lyrically. A surprise awaits with ‘Lost Vision’ as metal meets progy pop which actually works – especially as the phased guitar noodles over the hefty riff. 

This is a more varied album that will appeal on many levels to fans of the softer side of rock, but with enough dexterity and occasional weight to draw in prog and heavy rock fans too; my comments from 2021 still hold true.

Shadow of the King’s Charade is out now.

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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Samtar is an experimental solo artist from Wisconsin and has his fifth album (the follow-up to the grandly titled, The Curse Of The Infinite Luminosity) out now. When I reviewed The Curse of… back in 2021, I was wary of the experimental tag but...Samtar casts the Shadow of the King’s Charade